Charcoal Rendering: Other Materials

There are other items that are important to have for charcoal drawing. I’ll discuss their specific uses in the articles on technique.

Sandpaper block- Described in this article. I also glue a piece of 100 grit sandpaper to the other side of the block, and use this side to sand down the bulk of the charcoal. I use the 220 grit side to finish the fine, tapering point.

Mahl stick- This piece of equipment is essential for stabilizing your drawing hand. I always have mine with me when I am drawing.

Kneaded eraser- You can manipulate it to hold a point use it to pick out small unwanted flecks of charcoal on your carefully rendered drawing.

Small, soft brush- a small watercolor brush can be used to gently brush away layers of charcoal, making the tone in the area faintly lighter. It can also be used to lighten block-in lines.

Jar with a lid- used to store charcoal dust. The dust can be used to tone paper for reductive drawings. It is the policy at our school not to put charcoal dust in the trash, as is becomes a hassle for the cleaning crew.

Large, stiff brush- I use a brush to sweep charcoal dust into the jar.

Drawing board­- Ways of making drawing boards are given in this article.

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